Source description last updated 19 October 2011.
USAID is "the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms." It "receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State." (USAID Website,, accessed on 28 April 2008)
"USAID's history goes back to the Marshall Plan reconstruction of Europe after World War Two and the Truman Administration's Point Four Program. In 1961, the Foreign Assistance Act was signed into law and USAID was created by executive order." (USAID Website,, accessed on 28 April 2008)
The USAID headquarters are based in Washington, D.C.; it has field offices around the world.
Target group:
US government; international agencies and other governments; USAID implementing partners and other organisations; universities; American businesses; public.
USAID’s objective is to provide “economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States“ (USAID Website,, accessed on 19 October 2011).
U.S. budget, see USAID website for detailed financial reports: (accessed on 19 October 2011)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Africa; 21 countries in Asia; some European countries (Albania, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation); Latin America and the Caribbean.
Thematic focus: Current developments; population movements and protection (refugees and IDPs); humanitarian access (including disaster assistance); agriculture, nutrition and food security; health (including HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, maternal and child health), water, sanitation, and hygiene; returns.
Reporting methodology:
USAID gathers information via its field offices around the world. Besides it works “in close partnership with private voluntary organizations, indigenous organizations, universities, American businesses, international agencies, other governments, and other U.S. government agencies“ (USAID Website,, accessed on 28 April 2008).
"Analytical discussion documents and background or issue papers synthesize the most relevant information and current thinking on important foreign aid issues. They promote exchange of ideas among experts and provide a basis for formulating policies and strategies." (USAID Primer: What we do and how we do it, January 2006,, accessed on 28 April 2008)
Complex Emergency Situation Reports are written by USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) and Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and information collected in the reports is gathered from a variety of sources, such as OCHA, UNHCR, FAO, and others. (see USAID Complex Emergency Situation Reports)
Publication cycle:
Reports on countries with current emergency projects are published regularly (see Humanitarian & Disaster Assistance - Complex Emergency Situation Reports).
Other reports are published sporadically. 
English; information on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean is available also in Spanish.
Navigation of website:
Home: Latest news and reports; use Country Locator to find information on a particular country.
Locations: Possibility to browse for country specific information (such as Humanitarian & Disaster Assistance: Complex Emergency Situation Reports; Country profiles, etc.).
In order to browse by topic, choose a topic from Our work. Each topic is divided into sub-topics and there is also the possibility to search for a particular region or country in relation to the topic.
Additional references:
Wikipedia: United States Agency for International Development (accessed on 28 April 2008)
Source Watch: U.S. Agency for International Development (accessed on 28 April 2008)
Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG): Are USAID Gorilla Conservation Funds Being Used To support Covert Operations in Central Africa, 20. September 2007 (accessed on 28 April 2008)
All documents available on from this source